Decorating a Christmas Tree

Category Tree
An evergreen tree can be decorated for other holidays besides Christmas. This page is about decorating a Christmas tree.


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My husband and I stopped by an unusual shop last week on our venture to the next county thrift shops. This sweet lady had a Christmas tree upside down in one corner of her store and had decorations on it. She themes it. This theme was spring with birds, butterflies, different sprays of flowers, and just a beautiful assortment of things. We talked to her for quite a while and found out she redecorates the tree every few months to keep the idea fresh. Her next venture was still being hatched; she said she had several ideas one of which was patriotic.

The tree bottom was against the ceiling and I have no idea how she kept it in position, but it was a really intriguing way to display seasonal fun things. I thought I would pass it along as I was very interested in it and I hope this sparks some creativity for you as well.


Source: Terra Devine

By gem from VA

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Have you seen or made any of those cute Christmas "clothes pins" as decorations or advent ideas? Well here is another use.

I have many valuable (monetary and sentiment) ornaments that are a bit heavy or fragile. I have sometimes had them to slide off our live tree branches and tumble to the floor. I have been lucky so far with no breakage, but some close calls! Take the decorated clothes pins and clip them to the ends of any branches holding such treasured ornaments. If they do slide, the clothes pins will act to protect them from sliding off!


Source: I came up with the idea when taking my trees down this year!

By Brenda from Greenville, AL

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My dear sister-in-law has a new baby. She is a little over a year old. They have taken a little medium tree and made a little "Baby's First Shoes" Christmas tree in one of the rooms. It is so cute. The baby's shoes that she has grown out of are hanging on the tree as ornaments. It is so cute!

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December 12, 2007

This idea seems very simple and obvious, yet I have been told repeatedly by friends that it never occurred to them, so I thought I'd share it. One of the most frustrating things about putting up a Christmas tree is attaching the stand and stringing the lights. A few years ago I came up with the idea of doing it all outside on my patio. We bring the tree in from the car, untie it and stand it in a bucket of water overnight, to allow the branches to settle, and the tree to take up as much water as possible.


The following day my son helps me place the tree into the stand and I climb underneath to attach the stand to the tree trunk. Now that it's safely in the stand, we are free to walk all the way around the tree to determine which is the best side to display towards the front. Next I proceed to string the lights,(after I have checked to make sure they are in good working order.) You can't imagine how much easier it is to apply the lights while being able to walk all the way around the tree. It usually takes no more than 10 minutes for a 6 foot tree. As a side note, since we always place our tree in the corner of the living room, I don't bother to wrap the lights all the way around the tree. Starting at the top, I just go about 2/3 of the way around, then go back and forth until I have used all of the lights. I then plug the strands into my outdoor outlet, (though an extension cord plugged into the garage would work just as well,) to see if I have any gaping holes in the lights, and I can make adjustments as needed.

When I'm finished, I unplug the lights, and my son and I carefully carry the tree upstairs and into the living room. If you live in a snowy climate or don't have a patio, you could just as easily perform this set-up in the garage, then carry the tree inside. (You might also consider placing the tree inside one of those giant tree bags which can be purchased at most discount department stores, to prevent dropping needles on the floor while transporting it, but I find if the tree is fresh enough, it doesn't tend to drop too many needles. Once you try this method, you'll never do it any other way. You can also do the same procedure in reverse when it comes time to remove the tree.

By Donna from San Diego, CA

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December 19, 2004

Silk Poinsettia clusters tucked into the branches of your Christmas tree is attractive and cheap when you buy them at "after Christmas markdowns."

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Can someone give me advice on how to buy a Christmas tree, ornaments, lights? I have never owned a Christmas tree before, but now I have 2 grandkids ages 1 and 6 months and I would like to put up a tree this year for them. There are just so many types of trees and Christmas decorations I really don't know where to start. Any advice?


By Onesummer


October 24, 20120 found this helpful

First of all I am a firm believer in artificial trees, as I have got older I also am a firm believer in the ones that come with the lights already on them. Putting the lights on a tree is the hardest part, especially as you get older. Depending on how tall of tree you get it will be in sections that you have to put together. When I do that I plug the bottom section into an outlet so that I make sure to get the upper sections plugged into the lower section right, sometimes that can be tricky. A couple years ago I got a really nice looking five foot tall, pre-lit tree at Home Depot for about $40.00. It is in two sections. Anyway when I put it together I decided it really looked too short in front of my window, so I had a friend make a wooden box about 12" high and about 18" square for me to set the tree on. But I can have the tree sitting on the floor and I can reach to decorate the top part and then set in on the box to finish decorating the tree. My balance is no longer good enough to get on a step stool to reach things. Then when I get all done I wrap a couple layers of the polyester batting like for quilts around the box and trunk of the tree. I don't use a tree skirt because they end up getting wrinkled when you set the gifts on it. I bought 1 1/2 yards of gold lame' fabric that I wrap around the trunk of the tee-----I like sparkle. For decorations there are all kinds of them. I have some that are cloth, homemade, a few from the WWII era, some collectables, I have maybe four Elvis motif ones, one that represents a 1959 Corvette, which I have wanted a real one for about 53 years. I also have a replica of a 1959 Cadillac. I just use a wide variety of ornaments and whatever else strikes my fancy. When it comes to buying decorations you can find anything and a lot of the ones that look like the shiny old fashioned glass ornaments that would shatter if you looked at them the wrong way, are now made out of non-breakable stuff. Hope this helps. At first thought $40.00 for an artificial tree sounds like a lot, but they come with the stand and last for several years. However, real trees cost about $40.00 and then you have to buy a tree stand and as long as you have them up, you have to crawl under them to keep them watered.

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October 26, 20120 found this helpful

I'm at the end of buying Christmas stuff - want to be simple.
I have two trees - a 3 foot boxed tree with lights from Big Lots that goes on a buffet, and then a 3 foot one that you connect the rods lift the tree from it's box where it's stored flat. This one also has lights. These generally are decorated with inexpensive candy canes and gift cards.

In the past, I started a Christmas ornament "collection" aimed for each grandchild - a "first" Christmas, then assorted metal ornaments with the child's name and the year. Each of the kids got their ornaments when they establish their own traditions and therefore had some ornaments for their own tree.

I also had ornaments to represent family members - i.e., a car with Santa was for my father, a poinsettia was for my mother, snowmen was for my youngest. You get the idea.
I wish you luck - the previous poster had good ideas, too.

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October 26, 20120 found this helpful

I bought a Led tree that had a string of regular lights also, It is about 3 ft tall, and super easy to put up. It is so bright and the lights flicker so nicely. It doesn't take a lot of ornaments, I use the small scale ones. I Love it and It is not expensive. I got mine at the after xmas sale or a few days before at clearance.

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October 26, 20120 found this helpful

Go to stores that sell Christmas trees-artificial ones! I recommend getting one with no lights on it. The trees that come with lights never have enough lights on them. The rule is 100 string of lights for every foot. So if your tree is 6 feet tall you need at least 600 lights on it. There is nothing uglier than a tree with not enough lights on it! You need to decide if you want white lights or colored lights. I have 2 trees and I put white lights on one, this one has all my snowmen on it. The other tree has colored lights on it with lots of different ornaments on it. When my kids were little I had nothing on my tree that could break. I taught them to look but not touch, but sometimes kids forget so I had nothing that could break and hurt them.

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December 19, 20160 found this helpful

Ornaments are so easy to make, you can purchase some clear ornaments at any size and then fill them with memories of your family members or whimsical items like artificial feathers ,ribbons, buttons, personalized items such as a child's baby ring, the hospital bracelets that were on your children's list at their birth ,wedding memorabilia, etc. Tie a pretty ribbon on the ornament and then hang it on your tree or give it as a gift. I'm very sentimental so therefore every Christmas I put my children's infant spoon tied with a pretty ribbon on my Christmas tree. Decorating a tree is it can be a very personal Adventure, I always go out in my yard and pick Magnolia leaves or pine boughs and I sometimes paint them gold and stick them in my Christmas tree. Enjoy the season and the adventure of having a Christmas tree

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December 19, 2004

Tips for putting up, taking down and storing tree lights. Post your ideas.


December 19, 20040 found this helpful

Instead of fighting with strands of Christmas lights to put on your tree, try taking the ones that you buy to put on your outside bushes that are already in one bundle and just throw them over the top of the tree and your done with your lights.No more having to wrap around the tree.

By Debbie Lovett

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December 19, 20040 found this helpful


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By Jan (Guest Post)
December 28, 20040 found this helpful

This sounds kinda messy....

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January 18, 20050 found this helpful

A tip I saw on a craft show was to take the cardboard paper tube and cut a slit in each end (not too long, about an inch). Slide the outlet end into the cut and then start wrapping the lights around the outside of the tube - when you get to the end place the end of the lights into the other slit. It works GREAT! The lights can be stored in one of the new plastic bins they have for wrapping paper and can easily be tested next year.

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December 6, 2016

This is a page about decorating an artificial Christmas tree. Artificial trees have some advantages over fresh ones, especially if they are pre-lit. The actual adding of seasonal decorations, however, is basically the same as with a fresh tree.

A white artificial Christmas tree with red ornaments.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 19, 2011

I am going to use a small Christmas tree to leave up year round to decorate according to the seasons, or holiday: New Years, Valentines Day, Easter, 4th of July, kids birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. And of course Christmas! the possibilities are endless.


All Season Tree

You have inspired me! I heard of a woman who tried this and didn't follow through because she "couldn't afford" seasonal decorations. I just wanted to say that even paper cutouts for each season would look beautiful on such a tree, and anyone can make up some of those.

Here are some ideas I have, would you all please post more? Maybe we can all have one of these seasonal trees!

January: You can buy little plastic crystals in the shape of droplets or snowflakes. Crocheted snowflakes, string or twig snowflakes, of course paper snowflakes, little snowmen made from pom-poms, ivy and white plastic berries.

February: Hearts, of course! Crocheted, paper, wooden, glitter.

March: ??? Lions and lambs? "March comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb" How could you make little crocuses?

April: Showers? Flowers? Little Easter eggs? Bunnies.

May: Flowers!

June: ?? Birds, butterflies, sea shells

July: Little flags

August: Sunflowers

September: Pumpkins. You can get little picks with nuts, colored leaves, pumpkins. Back to school, little books and pencils?

October: Halloween, little ghosts, jack-o-lanterns

November: Thanksgiving. Hmmmm. Ideas?

December: The easy one! We're used to decorating trees for this season.

How about some more ideas, folks? :D


By Jayne

All Season Tree

I love the ideas! How about little pictures of kids or grandkids on their birthdays, or even me on mine! Just about anything can be used! The salt dough ornaments can be made for any occasion ,painted and hung too.(09/13/2004)

By Carol Smith

All Season Tree

A friend did this and change the decorations for football, basket ball and even baseball teams she was rooting for (11/18/2007)

By ame8736

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